Part five of Andrew's column                                     Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

Can you name Mersey Tunnel trippers?

Hi Andrew, I have only recently found the web site and found it very informative.

    I have a photo of a trip to the Mersey Tunnel from the Red Cow (above) and I was told I should remember most of the faces. But I cannot put names to them.

    My father, Joe Jones, is top right and my mother is the lady between the ladies in white hats. Perhaps you can identify some of them.

   By the way, the photo of the workman in Pratchett's Row in "A Dabber's Nantwich" shows my uncle, Albert Roscoe. There's not a lot I can tell you about him, except that he was married to Nancy and they lived in Rigby's Row, Nantwich.

   Do you have the photo (right) of Welsh Row?


Vic Jones, Nantwich                      DECEMBER 2011


Andrew replies:

THE Mersey Road Tunnel was opened in 1934 and so the date of the photo is correct. The licensee of the Red Cow that year was Jervis Armstrong.

   Thanks for your information about Albert Roscoe.

   I like the Welsh Row photo. Unfortunately I have been unable to date it but would guess around 1910. I can make out Taylor's shop on the left but can find no reference to them. I like the person with the basket on their head to the left of the image.


  I couldn't find the row of houses where my grandfather lived


MY grandfather's marriage certificate gives his place of residence at the time of his marriage as 1 Wood's Row, Barony, Nantwich.

    Although on a visit to Nantwich I was able to locate the Barony (Barony Road) I could find no signs of  Wood's Row. Do you have any idea where it might have been?

   Your help would be much appreciated.

Linda Peake, Northern Ireland  

                                             DECEMBER 2011




Left: Barony Terrace. In the distance, to the left, is the Rifleman Inn.









This is No 1 Barony Terrace - or Wood's Row as it was previously named.



Andrew replies:


   Yours is a very interesting question and I think I know the answer. I found Wood's Row mentioned in two Nantwich Street directories - 1896 and 1913.

    But on looking at the equivalent OS maps of 1875 and 1910 I find terraced houses between Weaver Road and James Hall Street, and marked as Barony Terrace on the two maps mentioned above.

    It would appear that Wood's Row was an earlier name for this terrace and it took a while for the name change to come in common use.

    In the street directories, John Bostock, finisher, is listed at No 1 Wood's Row in 1896, and John Bostock, boot finisher, in 1913. Would he perhaps be your grandfather's father?   

   You can see Barony Terrace on the two maps I mentioned previously if you search on the following website: Find Nantwich and then select either of them.










Linda added:

   Many thanks for your quick and informative response. I hope to visit Nantwich at Christmas, so look forward to locating Barony Terrace. I believe the connection between my grandfather (Charles Peake) and the John Bostock you mention is the fact that John's wife, Phoebe Bostock, was aunt to Charles' future wife, Alice Williamson.



Seeking information about Nantwich shops

I NOW live in Canada and am looking for any information you may have about a fruit and vegetable shop in Pillory Street, owned by Ernest Cooper circa 1940s.

   Also any general info or personal info regarding Mr Cooper's ancestors or family would be of interest.

   Would you also have any info on when John France had his frame-maker and gilder business at 12 Beam Street? 


Glynis Cooper, Crystal Beach,

Ontario, Canada                  SEPTEMBER 2011


Andrew replies:


I have had a look through Nantwich directories for Ernest Cooper in Pillory Street and can find no trace of him. There is no mention in 1939.

  The next directory is 1953 and again no mention.


Did the shop go under someone else's name?

    Regarding John France, the earliest reference is at 30 Beam Street in 1883. By 1887 he had moved to 12 Beam Street and he was there for a long time, my last reference being in 1938. He is described as a carver, gilder and picture frame maker.


We cannot find mention of streets




An aerial view of Market Street from St Mary's Church. Johnston's Buildings is the row of houses (1) standing next to the Civic Hall car park. Other marked buildings are: 2, the market; 3, the Regal cinema; 4, cottages; 5, Robinson's boot and shoe factory; 6, the Church of England Primary School (now Peter Wilson Fine Art Auctioneers); 7, the Civic Hall; 8, the Technical Institute (now the public library); 9, the Red Cow pub; 10, The Gables.  Buildings 3, 4 and 5 are now the headquarters of Chatwin's bakery.

MY mother and I have been tracing our family tree and have a marriage certificate with addresses in Nantwich in 1933. One of which we can find no mention of anywhere and another that we are assuming is Johnson's Buildings.
   The first address given was 9 Johnston's Buildings, off Beam Street, We have assumed this will be the same Johnson's Building that is mentioned on your website. Do you know if we are correct to assume this and if so was Johnson's Buildings located behind the current Nantwich Library?
   The other address was Beckett's Entry, off Beam Street. We cannot find any mention of this address anywhere.
Emma Thomas, Crewe          


Andrew replies:


Thank you for your enquiry. I can confirm that Johnston's Buildings were located where you said - behind Nantwich Library. 

   The photograph above is from my book, "Lost Houses in Nantwich", which shows the row of


houses (1) behind the Civic Hall at right angles to Beam Street.

    I do not know of the location of Beckett's Entry

but if you will let me have the family surname I may be able to locate them using street directories of the period."


Emma later gave Andrew the surname Stokes, but this produced disappointing news. Andrew wrote:

"I have had a look at the 1938 street directory for Nantwich and can find no mention of the Stokes family in Beam Street or in Johnston's Buildings."

   Emma - who added: "It was fascinating to see the picture of Johnston's Buildings" - asked about finding which church a burial or christening occurred in, in the Nantwich parish in the 1800s.

   Andrew replied: "If you Google 'Cheshire Parish Register Project' you can find transcriptions from the registers of some Cheshire churches including Nantwich. Go to the database, select baptism, marriage or burial, then select either All Parishes or Nantwich, then enter the surname. You need to add a 1 to the date shown. i.e. 683 means


Johnstone's Buildings in another letter


1683. Then you have month and date."


A further word from Emma: "Andrew. Thank you for the help with my questions. It is fascinating to rediscover information from my families past. I should have clarified that the Stokes family lived at Beckett's Entry (which was the place that you had not been able to find the location of). I will keep searching and hopefully I might find it at some point."


   However, Andrew later had this comment to make: "There were two entries quite close together near the Barony end of Beam Street and about where the fire station is now. In a Nantwich Street Directory of 1896, Samuel Beckett (retired publican) is listed in an entry between 98 and 100 Beam Street.

   It is possible that this is Beckett's Entry. A quick look at the Census of 1891 and of 1901 shows that the entries were not specifically named, which is a shame.

   The Ordnance Survey 1910 map clearly shows the 15 houses in Johnston's Buildings with the entry that I suspect is Beckett's Entry just under the S in Beam Street. The other entry is a few doors to the left (or west).

Needles recall old drapery shop 









The Simpson brothers' shop - next to the Crown Hotel (left) - from a 1910 postcard.

  Below, the shop when it was occupied by Reeds Rains, the estate agency.

  Today it is the Caffe Nero coffee shop


I WONDER if you could help me. My mother-in-law recently passed away and I have inherited her old sewing box. The box contains a pack of needles with the label, "Simpson Bros, General and Fancy Drapers, Nantwich". Do you have any recollection of this shop? 

   We lived in Nantwich until 1981 when we moved to our current home. My husband, David, has published four local history books of Haslington and Winterley (printed by Johnson's) hence the interest in such finds as the Simpson needles.

Lesley Green, Haslington, Cheshire

                                                           AUGUST 2011


Andrew replies:

I HAVE only found one reference to the shop. It is in the 1913 Street directory. It says: "Simpson Bros., general drapers, milliners and dressmaker,


22 High Street."  That later became the premises of Reeds Rains, next door to the Crown Hotel.

   The shop had changed hands by 1934 from when I have my next directory.

    Similarly, in an earlier directory, of 1896, T.D.Hampson, general draper and silk merchant occupies the premises.


I THOUGHT Dorothy Vaughan may have something to say about the shop. I was right. In her "Odes to Old Nantwich" - reminiscences of shops in Nantwich at the beginning of last century - she has this to say:


"Next door C. Simpson made display

Of lovely drapery,

And there, as well, one could obtain

The latest millinery.


'Tis said that Cromwell used the room

On first floor front - a myth.

It's certain that it was a school,

Kept by a Mrs Smith.


Mr H.T.Johnson went

To this establishment

To start his education there

And get the rudiment.


Then that old hostelry "The Crown"

Where coaches used to stop.

Next, for all kinds of groceries,

Was Chesters' "little shop."



l H. T. Johnson was, of course, Harry Johnson, the printer and local historian.